Thursday, October 15, 2009

Salmon River Defeat.

Last weekend, Adam and I braved the Columbus Day weekend crowds and made our first trip north for king salmon along the Salmon River. It would also be our first time officially fishing for king salmon so we were pretty excited. With this excitement we tied numerous types of streamers anticipating some brutal and angry strikes on the swing. Early Saturday morning, we made our way north to the upper fly zone.

Sunday's View Downstream.

Sunday's View Upstream.

The New Toy & The Killer Stone.

On Saturday, we fished the upper fly zone starting below the upper wire and worked our way downstream. We hunkered in at a deep hole along the edge of what was easily class 3 rapids. Fishing here, we each caught several small rainbows, browns, and atlantic salmon. The high flows made it difficult to get anywhere near the bottom with a swing and we soon transitioned to nymphing the deep run. Large black stoneflies with rubber legs were the ticket and we received our first hook ups of the season. My first king toyed with me for about 30 seconds before realizing he was hooked and then bolting into the raging torrent yards away. I cranked the drag knob up not wanting to see my fly line and 75 yards of backing blitz downstream in an instant. In a matter of seconds my hook straightened and the king rolled one last time before erupting out of the water and seemingly waving goodbye to me. My legs shook uncontrollably for the next several minutes as some random dude consoled me from upstream.

Moldy King.

Changing Flies & False Hope.

Adam Working The Swing.

Sunday, saw us arrive on the lower fly zone around 6 am, well before the sun comes out. Pulling into the parking lot we realized that we were probably the 99th and 100th people there along with 8-10 drift boats. Welcome to the Salmon River circus. We bushwacked with our headlamps upstream and thought we found a run all to ourselves. Waiting merely minutes to make up our minds, several more people began flanking us and we were trapped. Unwilling to move and lose a decent spot we stayed. The river was raging to the point where if I would step another foot out into the river, it would lift my feet off the bottom and begin pushing me downstream. We struggled most of the morning reaching the bottom but once we did, Adam promptly began hooking up, seeing his fly line disappear a hundred yards downstream, and systematically pissing off twenty dudes at once. Later that day we made our way to the other side along some soft backwater next to the torrent from the morning. Seemingly every cast produced a hook up and Adam landed a large male coho. However, all the kings wanted nothing to do with coming to our hands.

Sunday's Raging Run.

Adam Getting Bent.

The Fly Line Is 100 Yards Downstream.

The long drive back to Delaware constantly reminded me of our defeat, the hard runs into our backing, and the flicker of that monstrous tail as the kings said, "adios." This singular thought has occupied my mind all week, and this weekend round two will commence.


Chris Michels said...

I know it's the most Cliché boner thing to say, but that's what keeps us coming back for more. AT least you guys didn't get completely skunked. The kings will be back next year!

I'm hoping to get up there for some steel in Nov.

FoulHooked said...

Water was definitely high this weekend...prob saved some trout from the snaggers. I watched the crowds from a distance, had my fill of combat fishing the weekend before.

Bring on the trout!

Adam said...

I had my fill of combat fishing in those two days, haha. I got to the point where I was actually pissed every time I hooked up with a king knowing that it was impossible to land. I'd just point my rod at the fish and straighten the hook. The only thought keeping me going was "Browns"...Haha. That coho I caught was a nice surprise though.

Mark said...

I am supposed to be fishing up there now, the steelhead are probably starting the bulk of their run. the parents, rain, and a long drive all by my sleep deprived self led to a no go

Adam said...

Sorry dude, I wanted is kicking my ass at the moment. Not to mention I'm broke..I believe I'm at an all-time low in both aspects...sigh...